Golden Apples of The Sun
July 14, 2004 9:41 AM   Subscribe

Singer Songwriter Devendra Banhart recently assembled an amazing mix of music exclusively for Arthur Magazine entitled “Golden Apples of the Sun,” (Pitchfork review) which has the high task of defining the West-cost based "freakfolk" scene. Featuring brilliant new artists (such as the breathtaking Joanna Newsom, Iron and Wine, and Vetiver, among others), it was limited to 1000 copies (all of which are sold out). There should be a second edition, but in the meantime you can listen to the whole album on this player.
posted by Quartermass (25 comments total)
I'm listening to it now. Sounds great. Thanks for the links
posted by Outlawyr at 10:07 AM on July 14, 2004

Some of these songs are heartbreaking. Thank you.

Track listing:
1. Vetiver (with Hope Sandoval) - "Angel's Share" (from the "Vetiver" LP)]
2. Joanna Newsom - "Bridges and Balloons" (from "The Milk-Eyed Mender" LP)
3. Six Organs of Admittance - "Hazy SF" (previously unreleased)
4. Viking Moses - "Crosses" (from "Crosses")
5. Josephine Foster - "Little Life" (prev. unreleased home recording)
6. Espers - "Byss & Abyss" (from "ESPers" LP)
7. Vashti Bunyan & Devendra Banhart - "Rejoicing in the Hands" - (from the forthcoming "Rejoicing in the Hands of the Golden Empress" LP)
8. Jana Hunter - "Farm, CA" (prev. unreleased)
9. Currituck Co. - "The Tropics of Cancer" (from "Ghost Man on First")
10. White Magic - "Don't Need" (from forthcoming EP)
11. Iron and Wine - "Fever Dream" (from "Our Endless Numbered Days" LP)
12. Diane Cluck - "Heat From Every Corner" (from "Macy's Day Bird")
13. Matt Valentine - "Mountains of Yaffa" (prev. unreleased)
14. Entrance - "You Must Turn" (prev. unreleased home recording)
15. Jack Rose - "White Mule" (from "Red Horse, White Mule" originally released thru Eclipse, forthcoming on VHF)
16. Little Wings - "Look at What the Light Did Now" (from "Light Green Leaves")
17. Scout Niblett - "Wet Road" (from "Sweet Heart Fever")
18. Troll - "Mexicana" (from "Pathless Lord")
19. CocoRosie - "Good Friday" (from "La Maison de Mon Reve")
20. Antony - "The Lake" (from "Live at Saint Olaye's With Current 93")
posted by waxpancake at 10:11 AM on July 14, 2004

I really like the player. The music, however... these people all sound like they're asleep, or like the cast of "Heart of Glass," that Werner Herzog movie where the actors were all hypnotized before shooting. The female singers all sound like a cross between Shirley Temple and Andy Devine. I assume these are all young people at the height of their physical and erotic vitality. C'mon, wake up.
posted by Faze at 10:19 AM on July 14, 2004

An interesting profile of Devendra Banhart was on NPR a while back
posted by TedW at 10:21 AM on July 14, 2004

waxpancake -- Heartbreaking! What's heartbreaking is that these rich kids can't use what is clearly their abundant free time to come up with anything better than these droning, self-indulgent dirges, delivered from under the sofa. If they had to write a hit song or STARVE, we'd hear some livelier tunes, I'll bet.
posted by Faze at 10:25 AM on July 14, 2004

Faze, though I understand the sentiment, I think you are sooo missing the point.

Though I like listening to "livelier" music as much as the next person, there are times and places where this music is the only thing that fits.

And how do you come to the conclusion to the fact that these are rich kids? Did you read the Devendra Banhart link? The guy was homeless.
posted by Quartermass at 10:31 AM on July 14, 2004

I'm not a fan of many of these, and I do think it's overall a little overly sleepy and slight. I also tend to bristle when critics start grouping a bunch of bands under some quirky word they make up. Freakfolk? I mean seriously.

However, I think Iron & Wine is pretty great (not so much the track they used here, but his first album is phenomnal).

Faze: I wasn't aware only poor people make good music, or that you'd gotten a report on the financial situation of all of these people. Thanks for the info!
posted by malphigian at 10:43 AM on July 14, 2004

ugh, Joanna Newsom sounds like someone gave that freaky little woman from Poltergeist a recording contract.
posted by crank at 10:50 AM on July 14, 2004

Joanna Newsom - WHAT a voice!! I can't listen to her without this image rushing into my head, of a Victorian porcelain doll cocking its head to one side and yowling a tune. personal favourite: "peach plum pear"...

if you like all this:
Sufjan Stevens(mp3s here)
the Books

any other recommendations along these lines?
posted by creeky at 10:53 AM on July 14, 2004

mmmm Espers is Greg Weeks' band. sooo good and pretty. probably my favorite band on that album...

i really want to like Devendra & Iron & Wine but i only like them a little. Dont get me started on Joanna Newsom, but you know she really is the cousin of SF mayor, Gavin Newsom. but ughh, i cant listen to her for a second..

love sufjan tho....
posted by rollerball at 10:56 AM on July 14, 2004

Cheers for that, great links and a great album, which I would have remained unaware of otherwise.
posted by Fat Buddha at 11:50 AM on July 14, 2004

Thanks for the link. I wish they'd just put 'em up as MP3s but I'll take what I can get. I've never heard the term freakfolk before and it's just fucking awful.

I saw Iron & Wine play Toronto recently and it was one of the best concerts I've seen in years.

The thing I like about these artists (the ones I do like) is that though their voices are not "conventionally good," they sound sincere as just about anything anyone's ever done. If you'll accept that as my definition of these tracks and let the "genre" be damned, then creeky, I'd recommend:

M. Ward [ MP3s: 1 2]
Bob Wiseman [mp3] (self link)
For Stars [mp3]
Joel RL Phelps' beautiful record Inland Empires [mp3s: 1 2 mov]
Parker Paul (dunno what's making me think of him, but whatever. mp3)
The quieter stuff Mark Kozelek did [1 2 ]
Hayden [1]
My Morning Jacket (though more country than folk and more electric than not) [ 1 2 ]
The quieter songs by Clem Snide (sorry, can't find anything but theiir not quiet stuff)
Thalia Zedek (again, doesn't exactly fit the bill but she popped in my head when trying: mp3]
Smog (can't find any mp3s). I'd recommend Supper or Knock Knock though he hasn't made a bad album in a decade).
Freakwater [mp3]
The Handsome Family [1 2 3]
Jolie Holland [1 2]
Andrew Bird [1 2]
Songs: Ohia {scroll down and check out the tracks in the list at the bottom.)
Bonnie "Prince" Billy or Will Oldham (can't find tracks by either).
Peggy Honeywell [mp3]
Haley Bonar [1 2 3]
Low (not folk at all but real nice). [1 2]
posted by dobbs at 12:41 PM on July 14, 2004

Thanks for those Dobbs. I am a huge fan of the Mark Kozelek solo stuff, and I have a man-crush on Hayden (I named my son after him).
posted by Quartermass at 12:46 PM on July 14, 2004

Originally this post was going to be just on Joanna Newsom, who I only recently discovered, and whom I have been listening to 24/7 (quite literally - it is driving everyone around me nuts). People either LOVE or HATE her voice (see above comments). Personally, I find it addicting, not unlike crack or Elimidate.
posted by Quartermass at 12:52 PM on July 14, 2004

some of joanna newsom's songs are just heart-achingly good. and i love that the kids are diggin' her harp. it's too bad her free show at south street seaport looks like a washout tonight...
posted by armacy at 1:50 PM on July 14, 2004

on the other louder punk end of new folk are bands like this bike is a pipe bomb and (old) against me, you can get some of their mp3s here
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 2:08 PM on July 14, 2004

I would put Jason Molina/Songs:Ohia in a different class, he's more unabashedly country/roots, and his voice is indeed conventionally good.

Attempts to quibble over dobbs classifications aside, Didn't It Rain by Songs:Ohia is easily one of the best records of that last few years.

(oh, and just for Faze, Molina was raised in a trailer park. Really. Heh, sorry to harp, your comment was just too amusing. )
posted by malphigian at 2:16 PM on July 14, 2004

I hate to be so lame, but those of you who really dig this kinda thing (and the associated music that dobbs links to), would get a kick out of my mp3blog, I think. It's a Franz Ferdinand/Daft Punk remix up top, but amid the variety there's a pretty consistent emphasis on alt.folk. In the past I've posted songs by Vetiver, Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart, Iron and Wine, Cocorosie, Little Wings, Jolie Holland, Songs:Ohia, M Ward, Hayden, Low, Smog, Clem Snide, Will Oldham, Mark Kozelek...
posted by Marquis at 2:54 PM on July 14, 2004



This despite the fact that I know and like many of these artists. Jason Webley's missing, but I bet he'd hate that tag as much as I do.
posted by mwhybark at 3:17 PM on July 14, 2004

funny how some people mistake intimacy for sleepiness or dronyness ... it's not my usual kind of music but i can hear real feeling in it
posted by pyramid termite at 4:55 PM on July 14, 2004

damn, ive been putting off making a devendra banhart post forever --- hes one of the few contemporary musicians i can stomach these days
posted by Satapher at 12:00 AM on July 15, 2004

ive never heard the term "freakfolk" however --- wtf? dont spread that shit
posted by Satapher at 12:03 AM on July 15, 2004

on second thought i just joined the freakfolk bandwagon
posted by Satapher at 12:05 AM on July 15, 2004

Ha, I am amused by the term "freakfolk." I picked up on it from the Pitchfork reveiw, and it kind of stuck.

Got to admit, it is better than "emo" (shudder).
posted by Quartermass at 12:25 AM on July 15, 2004

Animal Collective is amazing and certainly has been lumped in with these groups. Freakierfolk than most of the groups on the Golden Apples release. Which I haven't stopped listening to in 3 days by the way.
posted by mikeyb at 5:54 PM on July 15, 2004

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